Alcohol has the potential to take over your life during college and negatively impact your grades. In addition, the more you drink the more dependent you become, which eventually evolves into addiction. Once you’re addicted, it’s extremely difficult to get your life back.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at addiction, alcohol, and how to stay sober from alcohol in college.
How to Stay Sober from Alcohol in College
When you ask a college student to name the obstacles they face, you expect to hear studying for exams, not having enough money, and being homesick. What you may not expect to hear is partying, or more specifically, staying sober from alcohol.
However, staying sober from alcohol in college can be hard. Just ask the reported 58% of college students who admitted drinking. And half of that group admitted to binge drinking in the past month prior to taking the survey.
Many students drink alcohol even if they don’t want to drink or get drunk. They do this to alleviate some of the pressure placed on them by peers who want to party. They want to fit in, even if it’s with the wrong crowd.
Other students want to experiment, some want to relax, and some are bored. And these are just a few of the reasons college students spend time drinking alcohol. They feel like drinking is part of the college lifestyle and is expected of them. They think it is part of paying their dues, just like their siblings, friends and even parents have done in the past.
If you are struggling to stay sober from alcohol while in college, you are not alone. There are many other students feeling the same way.
The good news is that there are strategies you can try to help you stay sober. Implementing healthy changes like the ones listed below can help you stay focused on your end goals, graduating with a degree so you can thrive in adulthood.
Here’s how to stay sober from alcohol in college.
Hang Out with Sober People
The reason you may find it so hard to stay sober is that all your friends are getting drunk. It looks like they are having fun, so you choose to join them. Or, they pester you to party with them until you finally give in and agree.
Believe it or not, there are many sober college students that are having huge amounts of fun on and off-campus. You may not have recognized your sober peers, but they do exist. Some of them are sober because they are in recovery from alcohol-related problems, others are sober because they have been able to avoid partying while in school.
You may even choose to move to a sober dorm which can help you avoid the late-night interruptions of the students returning from their night of partying.
Hanging out with sober peers can help you focus on what is important in college, reaching your goal of graduating with a degree.
Stay Focused on the Goal
Graduating with a degree is the goal of attending college. This means committing to a plan filled with short-term and long-term goals that help you reach your goal.
The number of college students graduating in four to six years is rising. You want to be a part of this group. You are paying a lot of money to receive a degree that can benefit your career. You are the best investment you can make right now.
Stay focused and do not allow interferences such as binge drinking or other alcohol-related issues get in the way.
Don’t be afraid to make it known you are getting serious about your education.
Spread the Word
It may seem scary at first to let your roommate, friends, and acquaintances in college know you are not going to be partying with them anymore. But once you tell one person, the second will be easier and the third even more so.
You may even find you have followers, others who are done with the party life and want to have a sober college experience.
The ones who don’t understand, poke fun at you, or try to convince you otherwise are not the friends you want in a college. They do not have your best interest at heart.
The more you make it known, fewer people will try and influence your lifestyle. Other than having more time to focus on academics, you will also be able to make yourself a priority, mentally and physically.
You, The Priority
Focusing on yourself and meeting the needs of your body will enable you to succeed academically. Drinking alcohol has been proven to have negative effects on your body. It causes depression, dry skin, dehydration, poor concentration, and digestive problems.
Staying sober from alcohol, you will notice improvements right away. You will be able to practice mindfulness and when you notice something in your mind or body that is ailing, you will be able to properly heal.
You will have the time to implement self-care techniques that make you feel better the next day, not worse like alcohol. Getting a massage, manicures, reading, sports, or attending a support group are a few examples of how you can take care of yourself.
And they are all cheaper than a night out drinking with friends.
Reach Out for Support
There will be ups and downs. That’s true for everyone, even the ones who are not trying to stay sober. It’s what you do in those peaks and valleys that matter.
When you are feeling down and like you cannot overcome your cravings to party, or are struggling with depressive symptoms, reach out for help.
There are many types of support on a college campus. You can start with the counseling center with a trained professional. There are also community counseling resources that provide individual and group counseling.
With group therapy, you can meet other students struggling to avoid party life, just like you. Meeting with a counselor gives you an objective outlet where you can talk about your stressors and triggers and learn positive coping skills.
In conclusion, you owe it to yourself to succeed in college. Making yourself a priority, improving your mental and physical health, finding sober friends, speaking up for yourself, and reaching out for help are things you can start doing today.
So, go ahead, make the commitment to stay sober from alcohol in college.